MINUTES OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
OF THE FACULTY SENATE
MARCH 27, 2006, Mason Hall, rm. D5 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Present: Jim Bennett, Rei Berroa, Rick Coffinberger, Jim Sanford, Peter Stearns, Cliff Sutton, Susan Trencher
Absent: Dave Kuebrich
Approval of Minutes: The minutes of February 27, 2006 were approved as distributed.
Agenda for Faculty Senate Meeting April 5, 2006:
Announcements: Meeting on March 29th regarding retirement proposals attended by Provost Stearns, Maurice Scherrens, Linda Harber, Dave Kuebrich, Jim Sutton and Rick Coffinberger – may have information to share; status of faculty representative to BOV Audit Committee unknown; update on Faculty Handbook revision. Faculty will be encouraged to attend the special called meeting April 19th on salary issues; some may be unable to attend given previously scheduled committee meetings.
Reports of Senate Standing Committee Chairs:
Academic Policies – Cliff Sutton: Cliff will present two motions for calendar revision. Change to the Labor Day holiday will not be included in view of strong opposition by Staff Senate and some faculty in support of their view. A discussion took place regarding whether to send an email to all faculty (in addition to the agenda they will receive) or to senators only as a reminder of this important vote; possibly also to department heads as a reminder; links to Cliff’s webpage also to be included in the agenda for reference and feedback.
Two weeks ago a recommendation was passed by the Virginia General Assembly regarding book orders for courses to be submitted in a timely manner. Tom Hennessey will devise wording with some flexibility; as newly arrived faculty or faculty assigned to teach a new course may not be able to meet some deadlines. Concern was expressed about the growing cost of textbooks, availability of old editions, resale, and profits earned by bookstores. The recommendations are not a mandate.
Faculty Matters – Jim Sanford: The Faculty Evaluation of Administrators Form will be distributed within a week. The form is identical to the one used last year; slight changes haves been made to the instructions. On the President’s docushare website, five or six of the administrators surveys have been posted. As he did last year, the Provost will send an email to faculty reminding them to fill out the survey.
Organization and Operations – Rei Berroa: Letters have been sent to Deans and Directors regarding their allotment of Senators for the 2006-2007 academic year.
New Business: Josh Cantor, Director of Parking and Transportation, will make a brief presentation. It was noted that complaints about trash in the garage near the Concert Hall have resulted in improvements.
Post Agenda Discussion
Research Council-Proposed Policy Development/Faculty Representation/Governance Issues:
The Research Council is drafting a policy regarding copyright ownership of faculty- and student-produced research records/data by the University. If approved, such a policy could be problematic. If the university owns copyright, how can a Ph.D. graduate who goes elsewhere publish his or her dissertation? Would that person have to pay to reproduce copies of the data that s/he produced? Also, the American Psychological Association has a policy that data must be kept for at least five years so that another person, at his or her own expense, can reanalyze the data. What happens if the faculty member who produced the data leaves the university within the five-year period? The policy also proposes that the University owns course materials that faculty have developed. What happens if the faculty member takes another position?
A more general question is how does the University decide what policies must be approved by the Faculty Senate? Although there are faculty on the Research Council, the Senate is not a signatory on the proposed copyright policy. Also, the faculty were not elected or appointed by the Senate and there are no procedures for referral by the Council. The faculty/staff housing project approval constitutes a recent example of the need for more oversight by the Senate. Jim Sanford will meet with Matt Kluger about some of these issues, and a suggestion was made to invite Matt to address the Senate.
The suggestion was made to invite the faculty representative to the GMU Foundation to report to the Senate once a year as well as to obtain a brief written report from each faculty representative to the BOV Committees once a year.
Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 2:15 p.m.
Clerk, Faculty Senate